Headteacher's Weekly Bulletin
Friday 21st October 2016
There can only be one place to start this week and that, of course, is the School show, ‘What’s in a Musical?’ A cast and support team of 80+ students and teachers under the direction of Mrs Moorhouse and Miss Hitchens royally entertained audiences over the last two nights. The format of performing a selection of classic hits from musicals such as The Lion King, Wicked, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis and so many others was a new departure but one that went down a treat. Yes, I was still singing along on the journey home and on my bike ride in this morning! Luckily, nobody could hear. As I mentioned in my closing remarks, we have been spoilt by the performances of 6th formers Joe Cardoza and Laura McDonagh in recent times and perhaps take their quality for granted (they were equally brilliant last night in what might be Laura’s ‘swansong’ after 7 fabulous years at Wellington) but I think all present were blown away by the talent emerging in the younger year groups. I also think that we are already starting to see the impact of Drama (launched, you recall, in Years 7 and 8 and also at GCSE for the first time this September). Congratulations must go to Miss Foster and Mrs Simpson as the performances were certainly ‘theatrical’. Anyway, well done to all involved and I have deliberately resisted naming any particular highlights as everyone was so damn good. Thank you to the huge team of staff who made this happen and have given our students such a wonderful opportunity; one they will never forget! Oh, and as Headteacher, I couldn’t be more bursting with pride. What’s next? Watch this space. I can guarantee it won’t be staff / Governors performing the Rocky Horror Show! Actually …
Mrs Moorhouse and Miss Foster comment further on the musical later in this bulletin.
Right, it’s 16.31 so officially half-term and, therefore, I’m going to ‘bomb’ through the rest of the week’s news.
Forty Year 9 students accompanied by members of the History department (and Mrs Haley) will return tonight after a 3 day trip to the WWI battlefields of France and Belgium. Hopefully, a report to follow on 4th November.
Lots from Mrs Mackay, our careers guru, over the last few weeks and here’s the latest from her smorgasbord of activities which provide clear and essential direction, advice and guidance to our young people; “On Tuesday 18th October, Mrs Mackay, Mrs Taylor-Crooke and John Plaiter (Wellington’s Careers Advisor) escorted 50 students from Years 10,11 and Sixth form to the National Apprenticeship Show at the Manchester Central Convention Centre in Manchester. These shows are held all over England and we were lucky enough to secure a booking earlier in the year.
There were over 50 employers and providers present on the day, with seminars and workshops available that gave students a taste of the options available that might interest them. There was a wide selection of apprenticeship opportunities to choose from, ranging from the service sector to engineering and technology, with everything else in between. These included such skills as engineering, distribution and logistics, retail management, IT and many more, with some of the most recognisable names in these industries present to speak to the students.
All of the students gathered lots of information material and agreed that it was a really enjoyable and useful experience. Some have even signed up with companies to express their interest.”
Miss Foster shares her thoughts on ‘What’s in a Musical?’ and, more generally, the first (ever) half-term of Drama; “Well it has been an exhausting but incredibly rewarding half term! Myself and Mrs Simpson have managed to assess ALL of Y7 and Y8 students in a week and half and data will all be uploaded onto Doddle by the end of play on Friday for parents to peruse later in November. Every student should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved and they have all performed for their peers in some capacity. This is a huge deal that I would love family and friends of each student to celebrate. After a long couple of days with teaching our final lessons and supporting students in WIAM, myself and Mrs Simpson are looking forward to our half term break and planning for our next drama adventures as we approach the festive season.
Well done to Y7, Y8 and Y10. Myself and Mrs Simpson are incredibly proud of you!”
News from Mrs Ryan’s Cooking Club; “With Halloween fast approaching, this week’s cooking club saw pupils preparing for the Zombie apocalypse by making brain bites. 14 pupils had lots of fun melting marshmallows and then combining the melted sweets with some rice crispies. The mixture was then shaped into small circles with two of the circles pushed together to make what looked like a brain. These were then drizzled with red icing to complete the gory effect. Languages teacher, Miss Mendez, also joined in the fun and got stuck in helping pupils to make the perfect treats.
The club has proved to be very popular and we have had lots of fun this half term. I am particularly pleased with regular participant Michelle Chen who has proved to be a valuable member of the group. Not only does Michelle make her own product, but each week I have noticed that she assists most of the other pupils and not only with the fun bit but also the cleaning up. Fantastic effort Michelle.”
Duke of Edinburgh Scheme
It’s that time of year again when Mr Gubbins launches another cycle of D of E with Year 9. You may recall how much we have developed the scheme and how last year we had over 60 students completing the Bronze Award and around 20 the Silver. Well, tonight, Mr Gubbins had over 100 Year 9s attending the first session in the Vale Hall so we are clearly heading in the right direction. We will keep you updated with their progress and that of other groups.
Mrs Collinge provides feedback on National Poetry Day; “This year, the theme for National Poetry Day was ‘Messages’. Key Stage 3 pupils marked the day by looking at poems on this theme and writing their own poetry inspired by photographs. Congratulations to the following pupils who were all finalists in this year’s competition, their poems being voted ‘best in class’:
May Doherty, Georgia Levinsohn, Harvey Moss, Emily Sproston, Milly Bucksey, Ellie Budenberg, Ben Watefield, Lucy Potts, Kai Swain, Cameron Sandison, Sean Flynn, Thomas Lakin, Caitlin Maguire, Erica Morris, Amelia Hoyle, Annabelle Buckley, Gaby Dale.
The overall winners were decided by Mrs Collinge’s Y12 English Literature class who were blown away by the emotional maturity of the poetry produced. First place was awarded to Reece Glassbrook (9.4) for ‘The Last Few Days’; second place went to Matthew Cassidy (8Y2) for ‘My Grandad’ and third place was awarded to Eva Boukouri (8Y2) for her poem ‘An Untold Story’.
The finalists’ poems will be displayed in the English corridor.”
Miss English; “I just want to say how impressed I am with the new Year 10 cohort – they have taken the new topics in their stride and really have impressed all of us. We have looked at ‘Hazards’ as a first topic and some of the lessons include previous A Level content – such as the Global Atmospheric Circulation model – something we don’t normally teach until Year 13. The Year 10’s have really pushed themselves so far and not given up when they find topics hard. I can’t wait to take some of them off to Disneyland for the Halloween Festival next Sunday – what a lovely end to the half term holiday – I promise I will get them doing some Geography work while we are there!”
Yes, you better!
Mrs Heaton tells us that the Maths department have enjoyed a great week distributing lots of certificates to students in Key Stage 3. This is for their achievements in the Numeracy Ninja’s challenge they have been completing this half term. They are also celebrating the success of the following Stars of the Week…
Mr Fellowes awards Rosie Crossthwaite in Year 7 ‘for increasing her confidence in Maths by reading out and answering questions in class and Madeline Rogerson and Mollie-Jo Rotherforth in Year 8 for their impressive recall information on rounding decimals.’
Mrs Lewis awards Melanie Dook and Callum Macdonald from Year 8 as ‘they have gained 'Grand Master Status' in the Maths Ninja challenge. They have improved their mental maths agility enough to gain three Ninja belts each. Callum is now a Black Belt Maths Ninja! Congratulations to both of them and keep up the hard work.’
Mrs Smith awards her star of the week to Eren Sayan in Year 8. She would like to say a big thank you to Eren for preparing a lesson to 8X1. Eren showed Mrs Smith ‘an excellent problem solving puzzle which he helped prepare for their lesson this week. Everyone worked fantastically well in their teams showing resilience and collaborative learning in the classroom. Well done Eren!’
Dr Chard's nomination this week is Levi Darbyshire in Year 12, ‘whose mathematics folder demonstrates excellent organisation and effort at the start of this challenging course. Levi's homework and classwork have all been of a consistently high standard. Well done Levi!’
Mrs Mackay would like to nominate Zoe Entwistle in Year 10. She comments that ‘Zoe has worked with real commitment since the start of the year and has always taken great pride in all that she does. She consistently demonstrates a very determined attitude and meets all challenges set with the desire to succeed. This bodes extremely well for next year when she takes her GCSE examination. It has been a pleasure teaching Zoe, so far, and she must be congratulated on her progress to date. Well done Zoe, keep up the hard work!’
Mrs Heaton would like to award Callum Marsland in Year 8. ‘Callum shows a great level of enthusiasm to learning Maths and he is always keen to answer tough questions in front of the class. His is kind, mature and resilient and I am extremely proud of him and his impressive start to the year. Very well deserved Callum.’
Many congratulations to all our winners this half term and we look forward to more achievements after the holidays.
Mrs Moorhouse would like to say “a huge thank you and well done to all the students involved on and off stage for 'What's in a Musical?' which took place over 2 evenings this week as well as a full dress rehearsal for students from Navigation Primary School and The Willows. I know I speak for all the staff involved when I say how proud we are of all those involved. Well done, hope you enjoyed your lie-in today and have a well-deserved half term break.
As always in the Music Department we like to keep ourselves busy so our usual extra-curricular activities will start running again after the half term break. ‘Sing’ rehearsals for Year 8-13 will run on Tuesday lunchtime (old and new members always welcome) and ‘Sing with 7s’ will run on a Friday lunchtime. Wouldn't it be amazing if we saw the return of all the Year 7s who performed at the Bridgewater for our Carol Service in December?”
First up this week, results of our first inter-form comp of the year.
Miss MacGlinchey writes; “This year’s first inter-form competition was a blast! 10 students from each tutor group fought tough matches against all the other tutor groups to become dodgeball champions 2016-17. The winners from Year 7 were SCR, from Year 8 SYG and Year 9 JGS. Well done to all who took part and we look forward to the next event.”
Is it purely coincidence that 2 of the 3 winners are the tutor groups of PE teachers? Rigged results, extra training, inside knowledge?
Miss English again but this time with her netball ‘hat’ on. She reports on the last 3 netball matches for her Year 9 ladies (‘sorry for the delay; it’s been a busy half term’ she adds). “We have played very well over the past three games, and our team are really starting to gel again after such a long break since the last season! Our highlight was beating ACA 8-1 but we also accepted a narrow defeat to BTH and a loss to Sale Grammar this week. The team are raring to go when we are back from half term - it’s just a shame I am in Paris and will miss the first practice! I don’t want to single out any of the girls who have played as they have all been acceptable but I am so very impressed by the girls who have won the accolade ‘Girl of the Game’ over the past three games – Zainab Shather, Amelia Buckley and Chantel Tsuma. The whole team have responded well to feedback and I can’t wait to see what the next half term brings.”
Sale High cancelled the Year 10 game.
First up, Mr Gerschler with his Year 7 team; “The boys played their final fixture of a busy half term on Wednesday. It was a thoroughly professional performance from the first whistle and Wellington ended up winning comfortably 4-0. Joe Hughes opened the scoring with a fine individual effort; taking the ball out from Centre Half, beating 4-5 opponents and curling the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. I said it was Beckenbauer-esque at the end of the game and was greeted with a few confused faces! Oskar Richardson also put in another fine performance from midfield scoring twice and Charlie Walsh also got on the scoresheet. A pleasing performance and a big well done to Liam Furness, Stuart Chaisty and James Burney who had great debuts. It was great for Dillon Key to register a clean sheet too!”
Mr Morgan reports on Year 11;
“On Tuesday of this week, the Year 11 team continued their excellent start to the season with a well-earned 4-1 victory over Broadoak. Although the weather was horrendous, with a pitch quickly becoming waterlogged, the team played some neat football to produce four quality goals. Lloyd Gardner, Gentian Bogujevci, Owen Hinds and Ged Mckenzie finished well to confirm the win. The defence held firm against first half pressure from the visitors, with Joe Harney, Tom Hilton playing solidly as our two centre backs. Mr Morgan is particularly pleased with the commitment and attitude of the new squad players who are moving the team forward, with three difficult fixtures to come and a cup run, the future looks promising for the Year 11 team.”
We had faith and this was finally rewarded as Mr Gubbins’ champion Year 9 team finally secured their first win of this season with a 10-0 win over Broadoak. Mr Gubbins assures me that they are beginning to regain some of last year’s form and he is confident of success again this year.
Lymm postponed fixtures for Year 7 and 9 this week (great turn-out though from both years at training last night) and these will be re-scheduled for next half-term but Mr Higginson reports on a busy week for the Year 8 rugby team; “Tuesday saw them take part in a RFU Emerging Schools Tournament on Tuesday at North Manchester RFC. The tournament started with a variety of coaching sessions delivered by RFU coaches focussing on various parts of the game; attack, defence, scrummaging & breakdown. Following the coaching sessions, the boys then competed against the other schools getting the opportunity to put into practice what they had just learnt. Despite horrendous weather conditions, the boys won all their games until the rain finally put a stop to play.
Thursday then saw the Year 8's travel away to Lymm. A well-contested first half saw Wellington go into the break 10-5 down. Despite being a try behind, Wellington looked the more dominant team producing some fantastic rugby. The second half saw Lymm roll on the subs and an injury for Wellington meant they no longer had replacements. Lymm's fresh legs saw them run away with the second half. A late Wellington try meant the score finished 30-10 to Lymm. Despite the score the boys never gave up a this was shown with Wellington scoring last.”
Once again, the Year 8 team were let down by players failing to attend and not communicate their inability to play to teachers. This is unacceptable and not only discourteous to staff but also shows a lack of respect and team spirit towards their peers. This will not be tolerated with regard to any activity in School. Please reinforce this message to all our youngsters / your friends; extra-curricular activities, of any sort, require commitment and discipline if they are to be successful.
Miss Tyrer shares news of National Biology Week 2016 and the array of activities taking place across the Science department for Year 7. “The theme for this year was ‘Amazing Arachnids’ and pupils were involved in activities such as investigating web materials and re-creating spider webs, researching and presenting about different spider venoms as well as the different species of spider that we have here in the UK.
To top it off, we had a special visitor in Science last week – a Mexican Redback tarantula from the local pet shop! Pupils were shown the tarantula, the habitat she lives in and the skin that she has shed – some pupils were even able to hold her (a privilege that I managed to carefully avoid!).
To top it all off, pupils were involved in a ‘Biology Bake Off’ competition. They were tasked with making a ‘Biology’ themed bake, and the entries were excellent! We had spiders, brains, lungs and even a foetus shaped bake!
Winners were as follows: 1st – Emily Inns; 2nd – Luis Tait; 3rd Tom Pattinson.
Well done, Year 7! An excellent effort – roll on National Biology Week 2017.”
Miss Challinor just wanted to let you know what her form captain did today; “When the form were voting for their form captains, Emily Goodwin said in her speech that she would give out prizes each half term for the students with the highest attendance. She was voted in (not just because of this offer, of course!) and today she lived up to her promise! She brought in some prizes for the students who had the highest attendance for this half term (some chocolates etc) which was very well received by the rest of the form. Just wanted to let you know how much of a lovely girl she is, and how seriously she is taking her role as form captain.” What a lovely gesture, Emily.
I have to say, I think the Year 7s have made a fantastic start to their Wellington careers. On reflection, it was a great move to delay homework setting for the first few weeks and then to stagger its introduction. This was designed to ease the transition to secondary but also to allow students to throw themselves into life at Wellington and, my goodness, haven’t they just?! Sport, drama, music, Science club, STEM club, Book & Film Club, you name it, they’re at it! Not to mention the marvellous performances at our Awards Evening after just 3 weeks and the show this week. A pretty impressive start to ‘big school’!
I have to say, the Year 7s (and many others) looked tired as they left School earlier and that’s not at all surprising evidently. I hope all our Year 7s and their parents genuinely feel part of Wellington now and are looking forward to exciting, happy and fulfilling times ahead.
This from Miss Weeks; “During Thursday’s Period 5 General Studies lesson, Year 13 pupils were treated to a very special presentation by Mr Pinkerton in the 6th Form area. As pupils are currently studying the subtopic of ‘Law Enforcement’, what better opportunity than to have a retired police officer talk about his own experiences in the force? Mr Pinkerton’s speech about his 30+ years in the police was incredibly interesting and engaging and there was a real ‘buzz’ in the air after he’d delivered the session. The talk covered key questions from the A Level specification about how the law operates, the changes in the legal system and the punishment/rehabilitation of criminals. Additionally, prior to the presentation, pupils had prepared some insightful questions which were answered. A huge ‘Thank you’ to Mr Pinkerton for agreeing to deliver the session, and what a fantastic session it was!”
Well, that’s it for this half term; 7 bulletins down and 31 to go this year! In all seriousness (and I know I’ve probably said this countless times), I do thoroughly enjoy compiling the bulletin each Friday. It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to be Head of Wellington and to reflect on what students and staff achieve each and every day (both the monumental and the less obvious) is a fabulous way to end the week.
Of course, the support from you at home is crucial to our continued success and development, and indeed the life chances of our young people. Thank you for this and long may it continue.
I’ll end, fittingly, with the words of a Year 7 parent from an email I received yesterday;
“To Mr Beeley and staff
As our daughter’s first half-term draws to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff at Wellington for their continued commitment and hard work. Her transition from primary school has been very smooth and we can honestly say that we have never seen our daughter so happy.”
That’s why we do this job!
Have a great break.
Welcome to Wellington School
Thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to be the Headteacher of such an outstanding school. I relish the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards established over many years and, indeed, moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – compared to schools both locally and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School community.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher